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[personal profile] stardate64783
Title: Starting From Here
Fandom: Merlin
Rated: R
Notes: written for this prompt at [livejournal.com profile] kinkme_merlin.
Summary: Merlin's magic is revealed in Camelot. He faces execution. Gwaine comes and rescues him.
WARNINGS: Execution. Thoughts of death.


Well. It had been quite a while since he had been in the dungeons. Merlin mused as he sat, waiting for his execution. He asked Gaius to tell his mother in Ealdor that he caught some sort of disease and died. She probably would've died of grief herself if she knew that he so stupidly used magic right in front of Uther's eyes.

And Arthur fought his father. He could hear the prince yelling, protesting against the King at every turn as Merlin was dragged away to be executed in the morning. He briefly saw Gwen's tearful face, trying to hold herself back from reaching out and hugging him close. Gaius...Gaius looking far older than he ever looked.

The knights. Merlin curled further into the sparse straw. The shocked and hurt looks on his friends' faces. Lancelot. Leon. Elyan. Even Percival, who had recently taken a shining to him because Merlin had been able to remove a particularly painful splinter and kept quiet about the big tears that had rolled down his face during the extraction period, stood gobsmacked when he saw it as well. Gwaine...Gwaine's face had remained stony. Impassive. And perhaps it hurt far more than it should've. Merlin had no explanation for it, just was manhandled, jostled, and dragged away from his friends.

Morning came. Merlin hadn't caught a single wink of sleep. More than likely, Arthur was under watch. Gaius and Gwen were at the pyre. The last time he had walked this path, he was an old man, taking the fall for Gwen. When he saw her this time, she was sobbing so loudly and clinging to Gaius, shaking her head, probably trying to will it to be some sort of really bad dream. Lancelot, Leon, the knights stood, sworn not to go against the word of their king.

Merlin was led up to the platform where the kindling had already been set and stood there, staring up at Uther once more as his sentence was read aloud. Sorcery. Merlin closed his eyes, letting himself be led and tied to the stake. Destiny are troublesome things, indeed.

The drums stopped and the pyre was lit. All around him, everything grew hotter. He almost didn't hear the hoof beats that echoed through the courtyard. The smoke had reached his nose and he began to cough as it entered his lungs. The shouts of the crowd, probably at his body being burned, reached his ears. Perhaps he would die of suffocation before long. He felt himself falling, diving towards the orange flames and being caught again.

Disoriented. Is this death? He blinked up and coughed. Merlin felt himself being hoisted and moved. Strong arms holding onto him and a loud shout of "HYAH!" before he slipped into darkness. Hoof beats ringing in his ears.


When Merlin opened his eyes again, he was at a makeshift camp in the forest. Funny, not his idea of the afterlife but it might just do. He coughed several times and immediately a hand cradled his head and brought cool water to his lips. His eyes flickered up to his savior. "Gwaine?" he rasped. Gwaine said nothing, simply held him and fed him water.

"We're going to run. Nothing can stop us." the knight murmured into his ear. Merlin felt tears prick his eyes. "They're not going to get us, Merlin. Nothing can stop us." He held Merlin tightly. "We've got all of Albion."

Their lives had changed so dramatically. They ran. Supporting themselves with Merlin's knowledge of medicine and Gwaine's skills. All across Albion, past the Perilous Lands. Hiding under the guise of night. Far until no one has even heard of Camelot and found a seaside town to settle.

Then came word that King Arthur was uniting all of Albion.
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